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Amazon Sues New York State Over Tax Law

Claims it violates constitution

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Amazon.com is suing the state of New York for its recently enacted tax law that makes it mandatory for online retailers to collect sales tax on items shipped to the state.

The law states that Internet retailers with affiliates in New York must collect New York sales tax because those affiliates have a physical presence in the state. The new law is estimated to generate $50 million in tax revenue for the state.

In the lawsuit Amazon argues that the new tax law, "Violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, both facially and as applied to Amazon, because it imposes tax-collection obligations on out-of-state entities such as Amazon who have no substantial nexus with New York."

Amazon argues that its affiliate advertisers act independently of Amazon, and "they alone choose the timing, format, and placement of the Amazon advertisements on their websites," and they do not solicit or generate sales on behalf of Amazon.

The company also says that the tax law violates the equal protection clause of the constitution because it directly targets Amazon. "It was carefully crafted to increase state tax revenues by forcing Amazon to collect sales and use taxes," the suit says and "state officials have described the statute as the ‘Amazon Tax.’ "

 

Amazon Sues New York State Over Tax Law
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  • Guest

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  • http://geeklord.com/ Shobhit Prabhakar

    It is interesting to see online companies fight for there financial freedom.

  • http://www.petfoodstory.com David (Pet Food Man)

    I love Internet commerce mostly because it’s tax-free. The sad fact is government is making every attempt to take a piece of the action, sort of like the mob.

    Amazon is correct they’re being targeted.

    Does the State of NY intend to sue eBay to force compliance with U.S based commercial eBay sellers who sell goods to New York residents?

     

  • Guest

    The bottom line is that the State of New York loses millions of dollars of tax revenue every year to internet dealers that hid behind the shield of the internet at the expense of every single brick and mortar business in the state.  Every dollar that is lost must be regained or cut from this lost revenue has to come from in state residents through higher taxes or cut services because the internet dealers Amazon, E-bayers and others fail to contribute to the local economies of the places they take funds out of because of the legal issue of where the commerce actually takes place. 

     

    New Yorks position is that it takes place at the point of purchase – where the goods are shipped to – to ensure they get their piece of the pie and protect the businesses in their communities.  I only hope they win, and the other 50 states follow suit.

     

    • http://www.ccsequipment.net Guest

      Where a sale is consummated is from the point at which the transaction occurs (point-of-sale) and not the point-of-delivery.

      Whether it is a catalogue (order-by-mail), a place of business (brick-and-mortor), or an internet enterprise the only sales tax that can be collected is at the point-of-sale.

      Meaning that if a sale is consummated within the state where the purchase occurs, sales tax should be collected.

      Federal laws regarding/regulating interstate commerce dictate that a foreign business entity (any from outside the state) are not to be regarded as tax collecting agents for that state.

      NY state is making the lamest of arguments imaginable. According to their logic, if a foreign business places an advertisement in a NY newspaper for a product, the foreign business would be required to collect NY State sales tax if the product were delivered in NY state.

      Not only do foreign bussiness entities NOT have the capability, or federal requirement, to collect that tax, the State of New York has no reasonable way to enforce such a law,

      The attempt at such enforcement would cost far more than any potential gain.

      This issue is far broader and greater in magnitude than just Amazon v. NYS. It is matter of interstate commerce and NYS is clearly going to lose their argument based upon current federal law.

      • Guest

        where is the actual point of sale? The computer in you house in NY, the server some ware on the west coast that actually processed the credit card transaction, or the domain hosting server in (lets say) Texas that serves the shopping cart software and product ads???
         

        • spiritual 137

          Point of sale has been defined (by my research) as the "terminal" where the monetary transaction took place / was collected; Whether it’s the cardswipe, ZON,  or seller’s virtual terminal for credit transactions, there is always a physical presence of a sale, even if it’s a lone individual/seller, and wherever that individual has based operations is the POS.

          I just wonder what does NYS do when the POS is in Fiji?  :)

        • http://stores.ebay.com/Hughze-Beez Hughze

          It depends on the residence of who ever gets the green when the sale is completed no matter where his bank account resides.  This is because this person votes for the elected officials in the government that imposes the taxes. It’s about taxation without representation. 

      • http://www.MaxFactor-cosmetics.com Gary

        Although most sales are FOB suppliers location, NY State policy is that the sales tax is based on the point of delivery.

        ‘foreign business entity (any from outside the state) are not to be regarded as tax collecting agents for that state.’…

        I don’t know what laws you refer to, but NY could ask you to be the broker instead of agent.

        As to the foreign business analogy; if you were able to deliver the product in NY, why couldn’t you get the sales tax? Shipping COD for tax is one (costly) way, (but seriously) by your reasoning, the USA could never collect customs duties.

        • http://www.ccsequipment.net Guest

          Gary:

          Duties, fees, taxes and tariffs regarding goods that are shipped into the US, from foreign lands, are the faire of the Federal government, not local ones.

          So, perhaps you are confused on that point.

          A levy of taxes from within the borders of a given state, are the business of that state, and only that state.

          An attemt to collect a tax on a business entity outside the the borders of the state is a matter of interstate commerce.

          Interstate commerce is a matter of Constitutionality (U.S. Const., Art. 1, sec. 8, cl. 3).

          There are some issues which cloud this matter. When a good is delivered from outside of the state’s borders… say from a warehouse… and even when/if the order was placed by mail, phone, or the internet, if that place of business has a brick-and-mortar operation (retail location or warehouse)within the state, then they become obligated to collect that state’s tax, and only then!

          There are some exceptions to this, and most regard federally regulated commodities such as alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.

          The only authorized sales tax collecting agents are those business entities which are required to register as a business within a state.

          This is not the case with Amazon v. NYS.

          Additionally, the State of New York is attempting to interfere with interstate commerce and will run headlong into the Supreme Court, our Consitution, and the many legal precedent’s supporting interstates commerce (going back more than 200 years).

          Unfortunately, the outcome may be that our Federal government may determine that this is an issue to be addressed and begin imposing internet taxes on that level… similar to that 18+ cents-per-gallon tax we all pay on gasoline.

          I do not know what else to say, except that a visit to this website:

          http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/legal_issues/legal_activities/policy_papers/commerceclause.html

          may give you more insight.

           

    • Guest

      So your saying that as an online retailer, you want us to submit state taxes to every state that we sell to? the massive amount of regulations and paperwork would put most if not all small online business out of business!

    • http://www.nvo.com/stanmorgan Guest

      To tax and out of state business may be designated Inverse Tax. Specifically, it is like the Boston Tea Party whereby England taxed tea from the U.S. The cry was "No Taxation Without Representation". Thereby Amazon.com, or any small business would be paying taxies without representation given businesses outside the state of New York would be taxed without representation in the state. Their businesses are established outside New York State. This is contrary to letter of the law, and why this country was established that only those businesses in the state might be taxed. Amazon.com is in their right to sue the State of New York, given they have no representation in the state, and are being taxed.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      • http://www.MaxFactor-cosmetics.com Gary

        Whaaat?

         The business is not being charged, the purchaser is being charged. The business is only handling the cash.

        The purchaser lives in the state and has representation.

        • Paul in NJ

          “The business is only handling the cash” is the other side of the problem. A merchant in NY collects a sales tax, which he sends to Albany. This law would force Amazon.com to collect sales tax for all of NY’s 79 — that’s not a typo, seventy-nine — tax jurisdictions.

          At enormous cost to Amazon.com, BTW; I don’t see NY offering to compensate them for that cost. A NY merchant enjoys a variety of state services – that’s his compensation. Not so for Amazon.com, which will be forced to raise prices… and potentially lose business. And that’s fair how, exactly?

          Now multiply that times the tens of thousands of tax jurisdictions across the country. Why should any Internet merchant, even Amazon.com, be forced to be an upaid tax collector? It’s not as though they enjoy the services of most of those states.

    • John

      Please provide verifiable statistical data that actually shows the number of retail dollars that NYS looses every year to the internet that actually would have been spent at in state retailers to back up your argument.

    • Paul in NJ

      If you really believe that “Every dollar that is lost must be regained or cut from this lost revenue has to come from in state residents,” I’d like to propose a wager. You’re suggesting that if NY wins this case, the state of NY will cut other taxes. I’ll bet you any amount of money you like, at 10-to-1 odds, that that won’t happen. Any takers?

      And it’s worth saying again: You pay sales tax to NY to pay for state services you use. If you don’t like it, you can complain to your elected representatives. I, here in NJ, don’t use your state’s services, and I would not have the right to compain to NY government about being taxed for those services. That’s why the Founders rejected the idea of taxation without representation.

    • Guest

      I  assume you do not own your own business?  I do in NJ and I pay my sales tax.  I also sell on the net and should the states force me to sit down monthly or quarterly to pay each individual tax then i am done.  I did not go into business to be a tax collector.  Especially a tax collector for 50 states!!  My time is valuable just like everyone else’s and to be forced to do this is ludicrous. 

      The sales taxes collected in NJ is huge.  If the government would just learn to put more money into what it should go to and less in their pockets or using it for unnecessary things like bridges to nowhere or whatever then all would be fine. Also, there will never be enough taxes unless they stop now!  The budgets are growing bigger and bigger every year.  where do they expect us to get the funds from?

      The best way to get rid of all business is to keep taxing us.  Business people need to eat and live too. 

  • Guest

    I guess I’ll have to purchase online from Mexican companies, and let’s see if NYS can collect sales taxes from them!

    • spiritual 137

      Hey, you already buy from China, India, Thailand to name a few!!! It is called outsourcing…

  • Robet

    What people fail to realize is that the internet is not free of taxation, but that instead all buyers on the web are obligated to pay taxes to their state for all purchases and are breaking the law if they don’t (this is most states, though I am not certain if it is every single state).  Though hardly anybody declares the items they bought without paying sales tax, you are still obligated to do so and can be held liable if you do not.

    As for Amazon, they have been setting themselves up for major, major trouble for years now.  They allow individuals and small businesses to sell items on their site, but they do not allow the seller to collect any sales tax for those sales in the state of the seller.  Amazon makes the sale, handles the money, takes out their cut, then distributes the remainder to the seller, and offers no option for collecting sales tax to the seller.  This is nothing like ebay which is set up nicely so that the responsibility falls on the seller.  When this finally arrives in the courts, it is my belief that Amazon is going to be hit for multi millions from all the states when they sue one after another.  It’s just a matter of time.

    • Guest

      Since NY State has the highest overall taxes, as a NY state resident I am already paying a hefty increase on purchases.  NYS has a problem keeping residents now.  Just let them understand that now they can’t order anything over the internet without an additional charge.  Furthermore when I order anything from a NYS retailer on Amazon I already get charged tax through that retailer.  Amazon should not be collecting for their individual retailers that do not have a bricks establishment in NYS.  This is the same with any catalogue retailer that either does not does not have a bricks establishment in NYS.

       

      Thanks for the extra taxes Hillary.

       

    • Chris

       

      What you say is true – that buyers of goods from other states are supposed to pay the sales tax to the state in which they reside.  However, you forgot the second part of that.  Since the buyer paid the sales tax in another state in which they don’t reside, they’re due a refund of sales tax from that state.  Think of it….I go home to NY after my trip to Florida and have to send a check to NYS, then I have to submit a form to Florida for the refund for my souvenirs.  It doesn’t happen and it  never will….

       

  • Fred

    Okay, so you want to escape government taxation and live with the consequences? Great. Get ready for higher taxes in everything else, from the newspaper to the grocery store to the gas pump, and everything else that depends on government taxation and regulation. Face it, folks, taxation is the way we fund the government, and if you don’t fund the government, the government will find ways to fund itself. I’d rather pay it up front, so I know where the money is going and how it will be spent, than let the government find covert (and potentially illegal) ways to gather their revenues.

  • Guest

    to the person who states that NY is losing all that revenue and thinks all states should follow NY stupid example, I think your ignorance is amazing.

    Being a small business on the internet, I can tell you first hand that this would drive 99% of small businesses OUT OF BUSINESS.  There are way too many states with such varied sales tax laws that having to comply with each states local, county, state sales taxes and rates to too big a burden for us small businesses to comply with.  the paperwork alone would require 20-30 people to handle.

    That being said, I have no problem paying sales tax.  However, I don’t believe each state has the right to collect sales tax just because the product was shipped to that state.  The only fair way to handle the issue with small businesses is for the business to pay the sales tax to THEIR STATE for ALL Sales, regardless of where it is shipped.  Just like a brick and mortor store, it doesn’t matter where the customer lives or where the goods are going to end up, the sales tax is paid at the POINT OF SALE.  Which is the brick and mortor store location, or in the case of internet business, the location of the business owners physical presence.

    As for those businesses who think they are losing sales to internet stores because the customer doesn’t have to pay sales tax, that’s a load of BS.  Maybe for the really high prices items that may be true, but for the average internet sale the sales tax is very small.  Especially when we have to add shipping.  Shipping is significantly more than any sales tax.  Small internet businesses lose significant sales due to the astronomical shipping costs.  We are also burdened with significantly more fraud than a brick and mortor store and have to account for that in our pricing.

     

  • Ron Lee

    The "right" thing to do…. the fair thing to do is to impose state sales taxes based on the customer’s delivery location. The real problem is that to do so is to put an unreasonable burden on the merchants to manage the collection and remittance of a multitude of different state tax rates (not to mention other individual local taxes that might piggy back on the state tax). 

    Having said that, I believe there is a real legal argument against any jurisdiction imposing anything on the residents and merchants of another jurisdiction.

    The only way I see to handle these problems is when and if this country ever drops the income tax and replaces it with a national sales tax, then perhaps the feds could have merchants report by state the taxes collected and the feds would pass those taxes to the respective states. This of course would work best if there is only one tax rate imposed and not different rates for different states. I suppose this would have to be a separate interstate commerce tax collected at the same time as the federal sales tax.

    The scary thing about having congress set up such a system is that they don’t know how to keep things simple. Eventually the whole system will become a quagmire of special provisions, diversion of funds to benefit Senator Bird’s save the rocks project and other special interests.

  • Guest

    when most people think of taxes, it’s the federal income tax they think of. you can’t buy anything without a tax on it, not even a damn piece of gum. we should save every recite we get and at the end of the year add them all up and see what we really pay in taxes each year. maybe we should just dump that tea into the bay. Sorry, that’s already been done. If you can tell me of just one thing we can do or buy without a tax on it  i will kiss your sorry butt. Maybe we should stop buying from china,mexico,etc. and start to buy american made. well i guess the big companies would have to bring the jobs back to the good old USA first. yeah, we need an internet tax and an email tax and hell while we are at it we should have a tax on breathing the air. God knows we are taxed for everything else. yeah, more taxes, don’t matter what the government spends our money on. or should I say blows our money on. bring on those taxes. hell these new taxes could go to schools, food, health care for the illegal mexicans. or just use it to start a new Illegal war. while we are at it, lets get the gas prices up around $5,00 a gallon too. lots of tax money there.

  • http://www.getmynameout.com Live Free Or Die

    This from the state that allows Indians reservations not to charge sales tax on cigs and gas.  Some of you speak of an unfair advantage against brick and mortar retailers – why is it then NYS does not enforce its own tax laws?  Did someone say political correctness??

    NYS Dept. of Taxation officials go to such lengths as recording the license plate numbers of NY cars at NJ malls.  They have set up road blocks and sting operations on the VT state ine to catch regular folks who seek to save a few bucks on a carton of cigs.

    NYS has a instatiable appetite for tax dollars.  Ask any producer who lives here.  Taxes are unAmerican and I applaud anyone who figures out a legal way to avoid paying them. 

    Keep the internet tax free.

  • Guest

    Do the Amazon affiliates in New York make that much money for Amazon?  If not, I could see Amazon just just restricting the affiliate program to every state except New York.

    • http://www.reelectnoone.com Re elect no one

      What would I do if I were Jeff Bezos?  I would alter my order system to probibit any sales to New York Residence. 

       

      It won’t last because the thousands of people who live in New York will scream bloody murder at their politicians because they will see that their own representatives are working to limit their online shopping options.

       

      Amazon would be doing a public service in the long run because it will send a message to other states that try to meddle in internet commerce.

       

      In short I think pulling the plug on New York Sales for a while will do more and may cost less than a law suit.  Let the people vote with their public outrage.

       

      I think I will post this on http://www.reelectnoone.com

  • Guest

    I agree with he other reader who posted that allowing states to collect at the end point of the sale will drive most small internet companies out of business. Who can keep up with tax laws of 50 states? No individual. LOL, Do you even know any tax lawyer that do that?

           If you want to tax internet sales it must be to the state of the origin of the sale. Of course either way the small shipping industry will take a nose dive. More jobs and less tax, Or Less jobs and more tax? Lets not forget the shipping carriers pay tax.

           I buy online because I can get exactly what I want without having to drive 50 miles to 10 different stores and still end up with an item that is inferior to what I wanted, Or have to wait for it to be shipped to the store anyway.

  • RMW

    Guys…let the economists figure out what should be taxed and what should not, so that commerce is not unduly affected and enough money is collected to do what we need it to do.  Anybody who thinks they can have any kind of reasonable life without paying taxes for roads, schools, law enforcement, medical oversight and care, etc, etc is just a d**ned fool.  Good economists understand the elasticity of demand with respect to price of different goods and services, and only falter when politicians get into the fray.

    I love the internet, because I can shop at a plethora of retailers (even wholesalers) in a short time and not have to drive all over the countryside to waste time and fuel. Sales tax is a small part of the equation.  Freight (shipping) is getting worse and worse for a lot of reasons.  Also, some sellers use the shipping and handling line to make all of their money, like Sears did with the catalog before they lost their minds in the early 90′s.

    The internet also has allowed prices of a lot of the things I want to fall because so many people can see a lot more information about competitive pricing (like on eBay, Amazon, etc.) and because perceived scarcity is disproved, making some not willing to pay as much, since there are more available than was thought. 

    I think New York will have a tough time collecting from out of state sellers, but all states will have to do something as internet sales continue to grow.  The question is obviously beyond most of us, and should be decided by impartial people who truly understand economics.  Fair and equal taxation is what is needed, and if we pay as we spend, rather than as we are paid, we won’t have this big tax preparation business and so many tax cheaters and tax incentives (loopholes) that only the rich can exploit. Depends on the execution.

    • John

      As stated taxation is how a government pays for its self and the services it supplies and is a true and correct statement. However I think the issue in NY is much simpler than grand scheme economics. It is simple greed on the part of goverments looking for new sources of revenue with which to grow themselves and secure their own jobs. Lets face it governmental agencies are made up of people who get a pay check just like we do. However their unique situation allows them to legislate means to increase and secure their economic future and enrichment while the rest of us cannot. The broken part of the system is how taxation is levied in this country and the lack of public accountability and oversite into the process.

      Many government officials from the Fed to the small municipality have been actively seeking means to tax and regulate the internet since the mid 90′s making NY’s new Amazon tax no suprise.

      • spiritual 137

        You’re right, governments can find sources of revenue when we cannot. With every government entity, an accountability and oversite "committee" is almost always formed, so there is a method in place to keep them in check. 

        However, we all know that these same committees are paid by the same tax buck as the rest…they simply have failed to do their jobs, yet we as citizens (footing the bill) rarely fire them.  In addition, these committees are made up from the members of the offices (usually) who take on the position to give themselves a raise that otherwise would be unavailable.  Two hours a week reading memos equals an additional 32,000 a year.  Good pay for nothing.

  • Guest

    Sales tax in my state is 7%. And the tax is due everytime a dollar changes hands. It would be interesting to follow the life of a dollar biil to see how much tax it generates during its useful life.

    Just for grins, let’s say that the life of a dollar bill is 10 years, and that it changes hands 10 times a day (to keep the math simple). Each day, then that dollar bill would generate 70 cents in tax; times 300 (we’ll give it a couple of days off for good measure), and we are up to $252 dollars per year of generated tax. Times 10 years means that that one dollar bill will have generated $2,520 in tax dollars over its useful life. Wow!

    Say the math is off and it’s only half or a third of that. The point remains.

  • Guest

    I agree that sales tax should be paid at the point of sale.

    But beyond that, It seems that we have the whole tax thing upside down. All tax should be paid to our most local tax/government entity, probably the city or berg in which you live or work.

    All "higher" tax entities — state and federal — should receive their share of that tax from the entity just below it. For instance, the cities would finance their counties, who would finance their states, and the states would finance the feds. All state and federal taxes should not be paid by invdividuals or companies directly, but through their constituent tax entities. This would contribute toward local democratic control of taxing.

    States should not have to go to the feds for money, nor should cities have to go to the state. We have it upside down. Rather, the feds should have to go to the states, and the states should have to go to the counties, who would in turn go to the cities, who would go to the individuals and companies that reside therein. That way there would be no taxation without representation, which is what will happen when the Internet is taxed.

    A totalitarian government is characterized by political authority, which is the authority to tax, that exercises absolute and centralized control. Real democracy requires decentralization.

  • Mike

    Only in government can you find the most creative ways to separate us from our money. I am not surprised by this at all. I live in New Jersey. I think the only word in our Governors vocabulary is TAX. I fully support Amazons effort in this matter.

  • Hughze

    We need to be careful about how online taxes are conducted.  If New York starts taxing non resident affiliates, That means those affiliates are being taxed by more than one state. That means the state that has a governing presence on the affiliate and a state that does not.  (I can’t see where that should be considered legal.) 

    Can you just imagine, if this is allowed, how it would destroy internet marketing?  The multiple taxation of different governments on one sale would destroy the profit of the sale. Not only that, but, being an affiliate of a company required to collect taxes on your sales for a state that has no governing presence over you.  That’s called taxation without representation people.  And  wouldn’t you terminate business with that company? I would!

    I like the old way. Pay taxes to the state and local governments where your business has a physical residence. Pay taxes to the federal government. It’s simple and common sense.

  • bronksknifeworks

     

    Washington State is gearing up to do the same thing. The excuse that they came up with was hilarious. (It is Unfair to the brick and mortar merchants who advertise and display products and then lose out to online merchants.)

    This state will start it out by having all Washington merchants collect taxes based on the purchaser’s home address (county). After the wrinkles are ironed out they plan on shifting over to out of state commerce for additional revenues.

    It will take a company the size of Amazon to survive the bookkeeping and tax collecting burdens. There is no way that I would be able to do it and I would have to cease all internet sales and go completely out of business.

    Perhaps taxes wouldn’t seem so bad and pointless if at least a part of it got spent for something worthwhile.

    • Guest

      Personally, I consider hospitals, roads, bridges, schools, health inspectors, building inspectors, police, firefighters, ambulances, airports, pollution enforcement, abuse shelters, homeless shelters, unemployment services, court system, jails, driver licensing, border patrol, and all the thousands of other tax supported government services that we all take for granted to be "something worthwhile", but that’s just me…

      • Guest

        "A fool and his/her money are soon parted."  Sales tax funds very little if any of the programs you list.  Furthermore, if you eliminated the deceit, government waste, interest on debt payments due to financial mismanagement, etc…we could have more money for all these programs and pay a fraction of the taxes we do.  It is just easier for the government and their blind apologists to pass the pain on to businesses.  At least, in this case, Amazon has the resources to defend itself, whereas most victims don’t.

      • Paul in NJ

        “…hospitals, roads, bridges, schools, health inspectors, building inspectors, police, firefighters, ambulances…” Notice a common theme here? Those are local and/or state services, paid for and almost entirely utilized used by the citizens of that state.

        Tourists and visitors pay sales tax, and that’s as it should be, since they are enjoying those state services.

        But why on Earth should someone in Texas or New Hampshire, who buys from a New York company but will not benefit from New York’s roads, schools, police, firefighters, etc. be forced to help pay for any of that? They’re already paying taxes to pay for their own state & local services.

      • Guest

        Oh I too consider all those services a fundimental part of our country. But ask those people working in those services what their making for a wage and also what their repaying back in taxes to the same government agency that paided them. Those my friend are middleclass jobs that keep the real goverment control freaks in power. People need to stop nit picking and join to geather for the greater of the people. Thats another thing our lovely government has done to its people. Pit one against the other in hopes of keeping the real issues at bay.

  • http://www.UCMissouri.com Guest

    The State of New York is in for a surprise – many people may not make a purchase at all if they need to add sales tax to the total price. Additional sales tax will price many out of the market as evidence of the popularity of sales tax holidays. Here in Missouri, many people wait to make a purchase until August when we’ll have our tax holiday. Then they stock up. New York won’t see the win fall they expect.

  • http://www.leather-wallets.com/ Craig

    The problem is that the internet has proven problematic for the states. In the pre-internet economy, all of the stores literally sat in the state and were an effective ‘chokepoint’ to collect the tax. If they didn’t, a brick and mortar store is subject to audits and the state’s police power.

    The problem is that the states have not caught up to the 21st century and are still thinking like their 20th century counterparts. Overall the best solution would be very simple. States should impose a sales tax on cash transactions (which has always been subject to the ‘cash no tax’ chicanery) and exempt ALL transactions from sales tax using a credit card, imposing the obligation to collect the tax on the credit card companies.

    Its the only effective chokepoint that they have. The tax cheats will of course find ways to get PO boxes or addresses in zero sales tax jurisdictions (ie. NH).

    Simply put the State of New York is going to find it difficult to get out of state vendors to comply with any sales tax scheme. Of all the states that are out there, NY happens to have a very complex scheme whereby there is a base state sales tax which can be supplemented by a county which in turn can be supplemented by a city. As such tax rates can differ not only by county, but by city within a county (White Plains is an example)

     

    • http://www.MaxFactor-cosmetics.com Gary

      What state has a ‘cash no tax’ policy?

      In NY, all general sales are subject to sales tax.

      The only reason people get away with ‘cash no tax’ is because, if you pay with cash no one can prove that a sale was ever made.

    • http://www.stopamazontax.org stuffdone

      Fortunatly for ecommerce but unfortunatly for states, the structure of our country and supreme court rulings make it clear that one state does not have any legal jurisdiction in another. Each state has it’s own government elected by it’s citizens.  No one in any state has a political say in another state.

      Because of the sovern nature of our states, one state has no authority to compell citizens or businesses in another state to comply with it’s laws. They are simply not within thier jurisdiction.

      New York is trying to create a loop hole in order to bypass their borders and the supreme court to grab taxes that their own citizens ARE legally required to pay but don’t.

      We have a federal government who may do certain things to regulate commerce between states but this does not extend to taxation on behalf of a state. This where a unform tax of some kind may come to pass, which will relieve individual ecommerce sites from trying to untangle a hopeless mess of over 7,000 tax districts across the country.

      Because of the issue of state’s rights and sovern nature this may never happen and it is likely the courts will over turn the "Amazon Tax" in NY on similar grounds used to over turn other state’s attempts to force business outside their borders to collect taxes for them.

      Visit http://www.stopamazontax.org

  • Guest

    AMEN!  "Those who want to be in power should not be in power, those that should be in power don’t want to be in power" -Douglas Adams

  • Aju

    Posted this link in www.surfurls.com

  • Guest

    Why would anyone bother to read this garbage when you cannot even spell simple, common words?  It’s writing like this that gives editors headaches.  I’m not even going to mention the mechanics/punctuation.  Your points are ridiculous, and your writing is worse.

    • http://www.arperture.com M.G. Pickett Jr

      Its called typos, and yes I do spell check, that time was in a hurry. Spam? wow never known spam to be over 4 paragraphs long.

      • Guest

        maybe he , she is a politician or someother government employe? oh no did I typo too.

  • ME

    Whats amazing to me is these politicians and individuals that work in government forget that they are supposed to be in a position of public service and all of them feel that they are entitled  to strike it rich on the public.  If you are in a position of public service,  YOU SHOULD WORK FOR A FAIR AND MINIMAL SALARY AND IF TIMES ARE TOUGH, you should be willing to take a cut in your paycheck before any taxes are increased BECAUSE YOU CHOSE TO BE IN A POSITION OF PUBLIC SERVICE.  Doing otherwise isnt exactly looking out in the best interests of the public, now is it?

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

  • Guest

    The governmnet has become a class of its own thanks to tax payers. Look how many of their rich kids now run for office because we tax payers have made them millionairs and they now have all the money they need to stay on top. These people have only one agenda and thats to stay wealthy and in power. Its the middleclass thats getting hammered by these so called people for the people. The middlecalss is the only class that can pay for their big paychecks and other corporate expences. When you ask will the government stop taxing? Not until the people take back what was taken from them, their country. Our country wasn’t based upon how wealthy you were to get into office or how much money you could extract from your middleclass peoples to fill pockets. In the begining there was principle and honor and respect for any office held in governmnet. Today its an opportunity to make big money and screw the lower classes. And as for the lower classes , they get used by the government to help keep their nice upper class in power too. They give them little tibits like some free services to help families get by with no costs. Or they use them in wars that give them control and honor of their country when in fact they are used to get things the people in power want. So people when you ask when will the governmnet stop taxing us to death. Just think in reality and know thats its when people join togeather and say enough is enough.

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